Fresno man forms porch pirate coalition to protect neighborhood from thieves

February 07 2021 03:30 pm

FRESNO, California (KSEE) – With Christmas just hours away, porch pirates are making their rounds. A Fresno man said he’s taking matters into his own hands.

“After seeing all the packages being stolen I created what was called the ‘Anti porch pirate coalition,'” Chad Pickens said Monday.

He’s called on others in his area to get out and simply be aware, then post what they’re seeing on forums including Ring and Nextdoor. He said the concept is simple.

“Keep a watch, that’s it. Keep a lookout for anything suspicious. If you see people on bikes going back and forth up and down the street just kind of perusing around,” Pickens said.

He said this presence helps keep others’ presents safe.

“If it’s not nailed down, they’re taking it. Your Christmas lights, your decorations, your packages. They don’t even know what’s inside. They don’t care. They’ll steal just to steal,” said Fresno County Sheriff’s Office’s Tony Botti.

This month a suspected thief in northeast Fresno appeared to wear an “I’m Christian” shirt while swiping a package.

“When somebody walks up the motion sensor turns the thing on. It video records them and it phone calls,” ​Kevin Seubert a manager Fresno Ag Hardware said.

He said they carry a variety of simple theft deterrents, and motion-sensing lights along with the Ring doorbells are very popular items.

But many times cameras only catch the crimes being committed. Perkins hopes to prevent them from happening.

He said others have told him they’re being more proactive.

“I’ve been more vigilant lately. I’ve seen this one person. I’ve called the cops,” he said.

Right now Pickens’ coalition only patrols his northeast Fresno neighborhood but he hopes other areas get on board.

“I’m not saying I’ve done anything. I’m not saying it’s worked, but there has not been any post of anybody stealing from any porches as of yet,” he said.

Surprisingly Pickens said he’s never had a package stolen himself, but said he’s vigilant year-round and hopes others do the same.

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